With the shift from pandemic response to recovery, the City of Eugene is helping residents of the City’s Designated Temporary Shelter Sites transition to new locations, including new microshelter sites, or microsites.
The Designated Temporary Shelter Sites were established in three community center parking lots during the early part of the COVID-19 outbreak so people experiencing homelessness would have a safe and sanitary place to live. They also reduced the need for residents to move around the community, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
As Eugene reopens in Phase 2, the community centers and adjacent City facilities are starting to offer more services, so longer-term locations had to be found to replace these temporary shelter sites.
The City’s first Microsite was established at Skinner City Farm, near Washington Street and Cheshire Avenue. City staff are actively seeking additional sites, exploring both public and private property partnerships.
The temporary shelter site residents were also accommodated with placements in existing programs including Rest Stops and the Overnight Parking Program.
Up to six Conestoga huts, tents or vehicles are allowed at a site under City Code 4.816. The new microsites will be managed by local social service providers who will oversee general upkeep to help ensure the health and safety of individuals at the site and minimize impacts to the surrounding area and neighborhood.
City staff worked with neighbors and neighborhood leaders to better understand implications of particular sites. The sites were selected in-part because they are near public transportation, accessible by emergency vehicles, and because they have flat ground that can stay relatively dry in all seasons, without standing water.
Microsite residents sign an agreement to abide by the rules of the site, with zero tolerance for violent or threatening behavior, or alcohol or drug use onsite. The sites will have portable toilets, hand washing stations, and garbage collection bins that are emptied weekly. Residents are expected to keep the site tidy, refrain from disruptive behavior and be good neighbors. The sites also are fenced to control access and promote safety. Site management includes weekly meetings of residents to discuss concerns and ideas for site improvement.
Efforts to address chronic homelessness continue as the City works with Lane County toward the development of 350 new permanent supportive housing units, a 75-bed low barrier emergency shelter, and the addition of trained outreach teams. Learn more about the City’s programs and initiatives related to homelessness.
If your neighborhood, organization, or business is interested in hosting or sponsoring a microsite, please contact City of Eugene Homeless Services Staff at 541-682-8442.